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Inside Washington (11/12/2010)
* WASHINGTON (11/15/10)--Three trade groups sent a joint letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission asking for relief from “unreasonable and unwarranted” fees charged by CUSIP Global Services, commonly referred to as the CUSIP Service Bureau. The Bond Dealers of America, the Investment Adviser Association and the Government Finance Officers Association asked the SEC to use its jurisdiction to take control of the growing dispute over CUSIP fees and were particularly concerned about situations when federal regulators mandate their use. Standard & Poor’s manages the CUSIP bureau on behalf of the American Bankers Association (ABA). CUSIP alphanumeric codes are purchased by security issuers and used to identify government and municipal securities and stocks of registered U.S. firms. The dispute focuses on the CUSIP bureau’s attempt to charge licensing fees for the use of CUSIP codes – regardless of the source of the identifier or how it is used – from investment advisers, bond dealers and financial institution representatives (American Banker Nov. 12). These groups have typically used the codes in trade confirmations, account statements and other routine documents without being required to pay CUSIP annual fees, which can range from roughly $10,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Editor’s Note: The ABA’s CUSIP has no connection to the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA’s) Credit Union System Investment Program (CU SIP), which was created in 2008 to enable participating creditworthy credit unions to borrow from the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) and invest the proceeds in participating corporate credit unions …


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